I frist made this coffee cake for Christmas brunch a few years ago and it was a hit. Each bite is bursting with a classic pairing of cherry and almond flavors. —Michelle Delgado, Newnan, Georgia
- 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup almond filling
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk, divided
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, combine the cherries, cold water and 1/4 cup sugar. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 110°-115°. Add the milk mixture, lemon peel, salt, remaining sugar and 1-1/2 cups flour to yeast mixture; beat until smooth. Add eggs; beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Roll into an 18-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Spread almond filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Sprinkle with reserved cherries. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Pinch ends together to form a ring.
- With scissors, cut from outside edge to two-thirds of the way toward the center of the ring at 1-1/2-in. intervals. Separate strips slightly; twist so filling shows. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine egg and 1 tablespoon milk. Brush over dough. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. For glaze, in a bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, vanilla and remaining milk until smooth; drizzle over the ring. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Originally published as Almond Cherry Ring in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2003, p50
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